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** FT News **

* China central bank in $81bn injection | The move is the latest attempt by the authorities to prop up flagging growth and is seen by many as a response to the economy slowing last month

* Yevtushenkov placed under house arrest | Russian oligarch, the chairman and largest holder of conglomerate AFK Sistema, held on money laundering charges relating to acquisition of Bashneft Continue reading »

By Taras Kuzio of the University of Alberta

As Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president, arrives in Canada to address both houses of parliament the question of why Canada is not willing to give military support to Ukraine is high on the agenda.

Doug Saunders, a columnist at leading daily the Globe and Mail, argues that western governments have good reasons for not supporting Ukraine on the battlefield. These include Ukraine’s military incompetence – a legacy of Soviet training of the officer corps – and continued high-level corruption.

But are these unique and only applicable to Ukraine? Continue reading »

** FT News **

* PBoC injects $81bn into banking system | China’s central bank has injected Rmb500bn into the banking system, according to local media reports, in the latest attempt by the authorities to prop up flagging growth

* US hints at ground troops for Isis fight | General Martin Dempsey says some of the 1,600 US military members already in Iraq could be asked to accompany Iraqi soldiers in attacks Continue reading »

A huge bonfire of the brands awaits auto manufacturers in China as some 90m car owners prepare to disregard loyalty when they chose their next model.

A survey of some 2,400 car owners conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found an itch to switch brands among 83 per cent of respondents who drove domestic Chinese brand cars. Of these, only 30 per cent said they would drive another domestic brand as their next car, while a full 40 per cent said they planned to plump for a Volkswagen.

The findings suggest that the next big trend for auto manufacturers in the Chinese market – which has expanded tenfold since 2000 to register annual sales of around 20m units – may not be so much concerned with chasing growth as with inculcating brand loyalty. Continue reading »

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Presidential candidate Aécio Neves receives minor boost in polls

Brazil’s benchmark stock index staged one of its most volatile trading days yet in the lead-up to next month’s election ahead of a poll that showed upstart presidential candidate Marina Silva rebuilding her lead.

The Bovespa index finished up 2 per cent at 59,114.66 after earlier gains of nearly 4 per cent on hopes that the poll would indicate incumbent President Dilma Rousseff was losing, analysts said. Continue reading »

By Eric Platt and Andres Schipani

Another lurch lower for Venezuela: the country’s sovereign credit rating was cut deeper into junk territory to ‘CCC+’ by Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday as it grapples with recession, rocketing inflation, dwindling foreign reserves and widespread shortages of goods.

S&P lowered its rating one notch from ‘B-’, which the agency said indicated a “one-in-two likelihood of default over the next two years”. Continue reading »

Colombia’s economy may have suffered a hiccup, but it continues to outperform its regional peers amid a slowing of the commodities boom.

The national statistics agency said on Tuesday that gross domestic product grew 4.3 per cent in the second quarter of the year, below analysts expectations. Continue reading »

The latest UN annual report on hunger and food security is a sobering reminder of the challenges that Africa faces in spite of a recent improvement in economic growth and governance.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World, published by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, says that the reduction in global hunger continued with numbers of undernourished people falling from 840m in 2008-2010 to 805m in 2012-2014. Continue reading »

Poor forward planning and political manipulation of energy prices look likely to leave Turkey facing gas shortages this winter, even before the prospect of regional gas cuts due to the on-going hostilities in Ukraine.

Turkey last week experienced an unexplained drop in pressure in its western import line, through which it receives 14bn cubic metres (bcm) of gas from Russia, or about 30 per cent of Turkish demand. That sparked fears of further cuts during the peak mid winter demand period should a working ceasefire not be concluded.

But Turkey’s gas woes are not confined to one import line through Ukraine. Continue reading »

Cometh the hour, cometh the woman. Would a Marina Silva presidency be good for efforts to stop what scientists and activists argue is the continuing threat from deforestation to the world’s tropical forests?

A recent report by Forest Trends, a Washington-based non-government organisation, estimates that five football fields of tropical forest are being converted every minute in South America, Asia and Africa to supply soybeans, palm oil, beef and wood products. Continue reading »

Is this month’s bear run in EM equities merely a correction or the start of something big? As fast FT reports, the FTSE Emerging Market index is heading for its longest sustained losing streak since September 2001.

Anyone looking for signs of a structural shift will be interested in the chart below from Fitch Ratings, showing an improvement in both ratings and outlooks in the developed world that is the opposite of a strongly negative trend in EM this year. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Alibaba lifts IPO range to $66-$68 | If priced at the top of the range the company could raise $21.8bn, or as much as $24.3bn if bankers exercise their right for an over allotment of shares

* Russia’s challenge to an oil-hungry world | Consumers must be encouraged to use oil more thriftily – either through higher taxes or regulations enforcing fuel efficiency Continue reading »

After 100 days in power, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been given a cautious thumbs up by economists.

Al-Sisi, a former defence minister, won a landslide victory in Egypt’s presidential race on May 24, almost a year after he led the coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi, the elected Islamist president, from power. Political turbulence has been bruising for Egypt’s economy, which by most measures is in a worse state than it was before the advent of the Arab Spring in 2011. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Alibaba lifts IPO range to $66-$68 | If priced at the top of the range the company could raise $21.8bn, or as much as $24.3bn if bankers exercise their right for an overallotment of shares

* Asia bourses await Fed policy update | Trading across the region was downbeat as investors awaited key events later this week, including a monetary policy update from the US Federal Reserve Continue reading »

In less than 24 hours Peru’s economy – once feted as Latin America’s star and now struggling with a slowdown – suffered two blows. First, on Sunday evening, the surprising loss of its respected finance minister, Luis Miguel Castilla. Then, on Monday morning, the announcement that the Andean country’s gross domestic product grew below expectations in July.

Peru’s national statistics institute said the economy accelerated a meagre 1.16 per cent from the same month last year. This still means 60 months of continuous growth and an improvement from June, when Peru’s GDP growth nearly came to a halt, expanding just 0.3 per cent compared with a year earlier. Continue reading »